(Feb. 20, 2014) -- A delegation from the International Trade Center in the UTSA Institute for Economic Development is back from Tunisia after visiting with small business development centers to provide guidance on small business growth. The goal of the trip was to observe the pilot network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) that recently were set up as a result of UTSA's technical assistance, training and guidance.
In June 2013, UTSA completed the SBDC Counselor and Director Certificate Training Program that instructed participants on how to successfully adapt and implement the U.S. SBDC model and methodology. This included more than 10 days of training on how to manage a successful SBDC program, how to provide high-value consulting and training programs for small business clients and that resulted in the creation of a strategic and operational business plan for each center. The training was based on UTSA's considerable experience in operating its own successful SBDC program and in assisting the governments of 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to adopt the model.
Based on the assistance provided by UTSA, Tunisia will launch five pilot SBDCs in the cities of Ariana, Sfax, Kef, Kairouan and Nabeul. SBDCs are known locally in Tunisia as Centre d'Affaires. The new SBDCs and the preceding training are a collaborative effort with the Tunisian Ministry of Industry and Ministry of Commerce with the University of Texas at San Antonio and the International Executive Service Corps (IESC), thanks to the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA).
These centers later will be connected with the expanding SBDC Network in the Americas through the online trade platform SBDCGlobal.com, where Tunisian small business clients can find international trade opportunities and training for SBDC staff and client businesses.
SBDCs, established throughout the United States by the federal government in partnership with state governments and universities and colleges, assist entrepreneurs and business owners in establishing and growing their businesses through a free and confidential suite of advising services. Services include, but are not limited to, feasibility studies, business strategies, financial planning, marketing, production and professional networking. The centers support new and existing businesses.
UTSA Associate Vice President of Economic Development Robert McKinley, International Trade Center Director Cliff Paredes and Senior International Business Consultant Monica Alcoz visited the pilot SBDCs in Tunisia.
"We are very excited with impending launch of the pilot Tunisian SBDC network," said Paredes. "Recently Tunisia passed a historical milestone with the passage of their new constitution and now they are ready to focus on rebuilding their economy and in creating new jobs within the small business sector by adopting the SBDC model. A successful Tunisian SBDC network also will create tremendous trade opportunities for Texas small businesses once they are ready to connect with SBDCGlobal.com."
The International Trade Center at UTSA is one of the largest and most successful trade assistance organizations in Texas. It helps companies become globally competitive through technical trade consulting, customized market research and innovative training programs. The center is a specialty SBDC program in the South-West Texas Border SBDC Network.
Throughout the summer, UTSA offers more than 60 camps in science, engineering, architecture, sports, music, writing, language, culture and more.
Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
Experience a fun, interactive week at UTSA as new students and their families take the first steps to becoming a Roadrunner.
Various locations, Main Campus and Downtown Campuses
Chat with members of the Downtown Campus Initiative Task Force about changes taking place as the Downtown Campus grows and transforms to offer a comprehensive living and learning experience. Table topics will include curriculum changes, orientation updates, transportation, food and living options.
Frio Street Building Commons Area, Downtown Campus
UTSA and the San Antonio Express-News will jointly host this town hall meeting to discuss Unequal Justice in Bexar County and in Texas.
Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326), Downtown Campus
Finance and Budget Modeling Task Force presents a panel presentation of experts from 4 universities with experience in incentive-based budgeting. All UTSA campus community is invited to attend and be informed about budgeting processes.
Business Building Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
This event showcases the work of trainees, faculty, staff and students from multiple disciplines and public health agencies across San Antonio.
H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104), Main Campus
This exhibit highlights the UTSA Special Collections, which includes historic photographs from Texas, San Antonio and UTSA history.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Come learn about the benefits available before the enrollment period July 15-31.
Business Building University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.